A ship dragging its anchor on the seabed in the English Channel has cut the three main internet cables to the Channel Islands overnight.
Broadband speeds are expected to be slower as a result and telecom company JT said it could take up to a week to repair. Engineers have already been dispatched to repair the cables.
All communications traffic from JT, the main operator in Jersey, is going through a single link to France. JT says insurance will cover the cost of repairs and if they are able to track the ship then the owners insurance will pay for the work.
A spokesman for Jersey’s second largest telecom provider, Sure, says they are also having problems and there are likely to be issues with off island phone calls.
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (29th November 16)
Deutsche Telekom has confirmed up to 900,000 customers have had their broadband service cut off following a possible hack of its hardware.
The number fell to 400,00 as security measures were implemented. Internet access, phone connections and TV reception for those with a certain router have been affected since Sunday.
Deutsche Telekom has issued a software update and is asking affected customers to disconnect their routers. In a statement, the company said that ‘based on the error pattern, we cannot exclude the possibility that the routers have been targeted by external parties with the result that they can no longer register on the network.’
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (29th November 16)
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has ordered BT to legally separate from its Openreach division – which runs the broadband infrastructure. It wants Openreach to become a distinct company with its own board, with non-executives and a chairperson not affiliated with BT. Ofcom also wants Openreach to have control over its branding and budget allocation. It should also have a duty to treat all customers equally.
Ofcom is preparing a formal notification to the European Commission to start the process. It has resisted calls from other telecoms companies to split Openreach off entirely.
Ofcom said BT had not gone far enough to address its concerns about BT’s ability to favour its retail business when making investment decisions in Openreach.
BT has said that they put forward proposals in July which were fair and sustainable in meeting Ofcom’s objectives. They will continue to work with Ofcom to reach a voluntary settlement that is ‘good for customers, shareholders, employees, pensioners and investment in the UK’s digital future.’
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (29th November 2016)
A Chinese firm, Beijing LingLong, has unveiled the country’s first voice-activated smart home speaker – its answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home.
The Ding Dong uses voice interaction to do tasks such as playing music and switching on home appliances. The device is said to understand Mandarin, Cantonese and basic English. A study by Juniper Research suggests that China’s smart home market could be worth £18.3 bn by 2018.
Like Echo and Home, it can be used to control light switches, thermostats and home appliances, as well internet search, traffic and weather information, directions, online shopping, and music streaming,
So far though, it is the name of the product that has garnered more interest than the actual product itself!
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (24th November 2016)
A link to a video, which when watched slows down any iPhone until it crashes, is being used as the latest iPhone crash prank. The video from the Sina Weibo-backed video-sharing app Miaopai plays normally in the iPhone’s video player, but once the video is finished it can take up to a minute for the iPhone to lock up, requiring a forced reboot to recover it. Most people are unaware that anything has happened and continue to use their smartphone until it either won’t turn back on or locks up in an app, the home screen or with a spinning loading logo on a black screen.
The bug appears to involve the media handling functions of iOS, affects versions of the operating system as far back as iOS 5 and devices from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 7. The older the smartphone – the faster the lockup occurs.
The lockup is not permanent, but requires a soft reset or forced reboot to recover the functionality of the iPhone. Once the iPhone reboots, everything appears to function as normal.
www.theguardian.co.uk (22nd November 2016)
Samsung has urged owners of the Galaxy Note 7 to turn off its high-end smartphone while it investigates new reports of the device catching fire. It is also stopping all sales of the phone. Samsung recalled 2.5 million phones in September after complaints of exploding batteries, and later insisted that all replaced devices were safe. But there have since been reports of even those phones catching fire too. The company has announced that customers’ safety remains their number one priority and so will be asking all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place.
The problems for Samsung come at a crucial time for the firm. Technology analyst Andrew Milroy, from Frost & Sullivan, said ‘Samsung had been making a comeback against its rivals, but this catastrophic product fault will seriously damage its competitive position in the smart phone market.’ There will also be concern about the knock-on effect on the reputation of the brand, including the trust consumers have in Samsung’s wide range of products.
www.bbc.co.uk/technews (11th October 2016)